May 4, 2022

WPML Slow. How to speed up a Multilingual WordPress created with WPML

Some tips and anecdotes to speed up a WordPress or WooCommerce site that uses WPML.

WPML is a plugin that allows you to create your website in multiple languages. It has many features, including the ability to create pages in different languages, customize your content for each language, and more. But there are some drawbacks. This article will explain why WPML can slow down your site, and how to fix it with our specific service.

The plugin has been around since 2010 and is used by tens of thousands of companies around the world. It works with almost all CMS plugins available on the market today, including WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, Gravity Forms, and many more.

The main problem with WPML is that it is slow due to its large database size, which causes database queries to be slower than usual when configuring the site in multiple languages ​​via this plugin.

Why use a multilingual WordPress? What is WPML?

A multilingual website is one that has content available in more than one language. For example, an English-speaking company might use a multilingual website to present their products in French and Spanish, as well as in English. This allows them to reach more customers and sell more products.

WPML (WordPress Multilingual) is a plugin that allows you to create multilingual websites in WordPress. You can translate all your content into as many languages ​​as you want and have it all on the same site. If your site has an English version, you can easily add French or Spanish versions too, without having to start from scratch! You can also set up different menus for each language, so that visitors only see what they need when they visit your site. This makes it easier for them to find what they are looking for.

There are many reasons why you should use multilingual WordPress:

- You can reach more customers by translating your website into their native language. This makes it easier for them to find what they are looking for on your site and increases conversion rates.

- Google ranks sites higher if they are available in multiple languages. This helps you rank higher in search results and get more organic traffic from Google searches made by people who speak languages ​​other than English.

What are the problems and disadvantages of WPML?

WPML is a great tool for internationalizing a site. Unfortunately, it has some downsides that you should be aware of before using it.


Performance Issues

WPML uses the gettext function to translate your content, which requires a lot of processing power and memory. This can slow down your website and affect its performance.

Benchmark in hand WPML turns out to be the slowest of all the plugins taken into consideration for the WordPress multilingual. Absolutely the slowest


Slow content loading times

The more languages ​​you add, the slower your website gets. This is because each language must be loaded separately from the server; therefore, having many languages ​​on one page can lead to serious performance issues.

Duplicate content issues

WPML creates duplicate content by default. This can cause problems with Google and other search engines, as well as having a negative effect on SEO rankings.

We have had sites built with WPML that took over 6 seconds to open the page, whereas without WPML the time was less than a second.

It is clear that WPML is developed by a company that is not focused on the real needs of users and that they probably limit themselves to writing improvised and non-performing "spaghetti code", which makes everything absolutely inadequate for those who want to do business in a way profitable by meeting the speed and performance criteria required by Google and by visitors who browse the site.

How to fix WPML speed problems?

If you do a Google search looking for "WPML Slow" you will find really an embarrassing amount of results within the manufacturer's support forum.

Obviously in no comment they take responsibility for it admitting that they do not know how to develop and write amateur and non-performing code, according to them it is always the fault of the theme, of some other plugin, of the hosting or of the lack of some Cache.

As we've always said, caching is a workaround, a gimmick, a patch, a quick and easy fix but not a solution to performance and speed problems. If WPML has queries that take seconds or makes 3000 queries on a page where 200 would have been enough, the cache won't reduce this query count or response speed.

Very often we are reached by potential customers who see in us, hosting service providers, the panacea for all ills when it comes to WPML.

They think: "Now we bring everything from Managedserver and we have solved it by making this WPML site fast and performing".

Unfortunately, this statement is true in some cases but not all.

We don't work miracles only with server-side solutions and systems engineering.

What we do as a high performance hosting company is to provide the best hardware and software stack; however, making a pachyderm lean and agile is just an impossible goal.

If you have sites or ecommerce with 1000 - 5000 products, we can certainly help you by trying to use cache systems and minimize "hiding" the problems of WPML which, however, are not solved but only mitigated.

If you are instead dealing with sites with tens of thousands of products, the only solution is to use an alternative system to WPML such as, for example, Polylang or Multilingual Press which we have talked about quite extensively in this article: Multilingual WordPress sites without compromising performance and speed? MultilingualPress the only valid solution on the market.

For any eventuality, however, we are able to put you in front of different optimization and speed options, some exclusively systems and therefore partially effective but extremely economical, others hybrid intervening also at the application level and therefore certainly decisive but also quite expensive (we are talking about interventions a tantum starting from 2000 euros to be clear) and therefore not economic.

However, if you see that the solution is complex, difficult to manage and rather drastic, you can always compare yourself for free with our support to have a rough evaluation without obligation and therefore find an optimal and specific solution to your WPML-based project that is giving you problems. of speed.

Do you have doubts? Don't know where to start? Contact us!

We have all the answers to your questions to help you make the right choice.

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